Recently, a mother opened up about her disastrous breast milk experience at Heathrow Airport, and this week it’s Auckland Airport which has come in for major criticism.
Mum Marijke Willemse has stirred controversy online, after publicly sharing her frustration over the lack of adequate breastfeeding and parenting facilities at Auckland Airport.
Sharing a Facebook message she had sent to the airport’s page six hours previous, she explained how she was typing from a conference room at one of the terminals.
In the message, she referenced a ‘very upsetting’ conversation she had had with airport officers who ‘insisted her only option was to use a baby-changing room’ to express breast milk.
“This changing room opens directly onto the public foyer, doesn’t have a lockable door and is, in effect, just a toilet with baby toilet facilities added on,” she explained.
Explaining that, as a working mum to a seven-month-old she travels a lot, she called on the airport to install appropriate facilities for women in her position.
“It would be nice if you put a policy in place that reflects a progressive attitude to supporting breastfeeding/expressing mothers in our society, and if you could educate your staff on the ground that a toilet is not a suitable facility for either nursing or expressing milk,” she wrote.
It seems that Marijke was definitely not the first mum to go through this experience, and the responses to her post reflect the widespread frustration felt by other mothers passing through the airport.
“I did exactly that when I went through on a domestic flight in Auckland. Was really awful sitting in a disabled toilet expressing…Not an experience I wish to repeat any time soon,” wrote one social media user.
So, what have Auckland Airport’s admin done in response? In a statement, a spokesperson revealed that they have apologised to Marikje and have arranged for senior staff to meet her the next time she travels through their airport. They have also pledged to hang a curtain in the room in question.
What do you think would constitute the ideal facility for mothers travelling through airports? What are the basic contents each room should contain?